What Really Matters

What Really Matters
Gwen Smith
Girlfriends in God Devotional

Today's Truth
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33, NIV).

Friend to Friend
Far too often I seek God's blessings instead of seeking God. I seek His hand instead of His heart. Like a child with a long Christmas list, at times I run to my heavenly Father as if He's a celestial Wal-Mart purposed to satisfy my every want. Instead of leaning in to hear the whispered will of the Lord, I selfishly shout my will - my desires - my demands. I'd rather have relief from life-pressures than gain the strength to endure them and the lessons I'm intended to learn from them. When I'm desperate to fill my over-sized heart-cart with things that I think I need, I rob myself of what really matters: the pursuit of God and the blessings found in Him alone.

Why do we desire God's intervention in our lives more than His presence? Why do we think that we know what we need? It's so arrogant of us to tell God how to be God. Isn't that what we do when we stomp our feet before His throne and whine about all the things that need fixing instead of praising Him for the strength He graciously gives us to endure? While we're certainly encouraged by Scripture to make our requests known to the Father (Philippians 4:6), the highest calling on our lives is to love God with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds (Matthew 22:37). What really matters is seeking God and seeking Him first.

God knows that our selfish and demanding hearts bring loads of unnecessary anxiety to our days. His Word gives an amazing solution to our priority problem. He promises that when we chase His heart, we can relax and rest in His peace. Our needs will be met because He loves us.

"And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

"So don't worry about these things, saying, 'what will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." (Matthew 6:30-34, NLT)

The Message version of the Bible says it like this:

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, and do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes" (Matthew 6:30-34, MSG).

Set your list of wants aside today and seek God. Go before Him with a heart of worship and adoration. Get lost in His presence. Remember His mercy. Relish His grace. Love Him. Seek Him. Pray. Put first things first.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29, NIV). Please know that I am not suggesting that we shouldn't go to God with our burdens. We must! But God wants your love before your list.

God loves us so much. His plan is perfect and His ways are mysterious. He knows our needs and He knows our desires. When we remember what really matters we can rest in the knowledge that He's working on our behalf, and in our best interest, to bring glory to Himself through our lives.

Let's Pray
Dear Lord, You are all I need. Please forgive me for the times when I seek Your blessings before I seek Your heart. Help me to trust Your plan and rest in Your grace.

In Jesus' Name,


Now It's Your Turn
How has God met your needs in the past? Do you trust that He is able to meet them today?

He's not just concerned with your needs - God also cares about your heart matters. Read, meditate on and memorize this verse: "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4, ESV).

Add ten minutes to your prayer time each day for the next five days, then stand back and see how God blesses you!

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

The Purpose of the Desert
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. - Hosea 2:14

If you have an important message to convey to someone, what is the best means of getting the message through? Have you ever tried to talk with someone who was so busy you could not get him to hear you? Distractions prevent us from giving our undivided attention to the messenger. So too, God has His way of taking us aside to get our undivided attention. For Paul, it was Arabia for three years; for Moses, it was 40 years in the desert; for Joseph, it was 13 years in Egypt; for David, it was many years of fleeing from King Saul.

God knows the stubborn human heart. He knows that if He is to accomplish His deepest work, He must take us into the desert in order to give us the privilege to be used in His Kingdom. In the desert God changes us and removes things that hinder us. He forces us to draw deep upon His grace. The desert is only a season in our life. When He has accomplished what He wants in our lives in the desert, He will bring us out. He has given us a mission to fulfill that can only be fulfilled after we have spent adequate time in preparation in the desert. Fear not the desert, for it is here you will hear God's voice like never before. It is here you become His bride. It is here you will have the idols of your life removed. It is here you begin to experience the reality of a living God like never before. Someone once said, "God uses enlarged trials to produce enlarged saints so He can put them in enlarged places!"

He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me (2 Samuel 22:20).

Today's Prayer
God, Do You sense an independent spirit within me--one that hinders me from joining others in the mission You have called me to? While I do enjoy independence, it's nice sometimes to depend on someone else, to not have the whole weight of the world on my own shoulders. Help me to work with and live in harmony with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to help keep unity among believers as we go forward for the cause of Christ. If that means You need to work on that independent spirit within me, so be it. Help me, please. I love you, God. In Jesus name, amen.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders

The Blessed Hope of His Glorious Appearing
Pastor Adrian Rogers

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13

Whenever I walk the shores of the Sea of Galilee, I long to see Jesus walking there. I would have loved to see have seen Him walk on the water - planting His footsteps on the sea with the wind in His hair and His garments flowing. I think I'd be a better preacher had I seen Him dying in agony and blood, and to have experienced that Easter morning. Wouldn't it have been wonderful to see Him ascend into the glory!

I didn't see Him any of those times, but I'm going to see Him. And you're going to see Him! There's a blessed hope awaiting us as God's children. When He returns, He's not coming as the carpenter, He's coming as the Conqueror!

Thank God for this Good News right now. And ask Him to bring you someone today with whom you can share this particularly Good News of Christ's return!

Loves Comes Down - Matt Maher

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